MRI scanner funding cancelled

MOUNT Druitt Hospital has been dealt a major blow by the federal government.

The government has axed funding for a MRI scanner, promised by former prime minister Kevin Rudd just before the election.

Retired Chifley MP Roger Price started the campaign for an MRI many years ago.

It has been continued by his successor Ed Husic.

"We fought long and hard to secure the $6 million for MRI facilities at Mount Druitt Hospital," Mr Husic said.

"To learn that service is being axed by treasurer Joe Hockey just months after being fully funded by the Labor Government is insulting to people of Sydney's west who will now have to travel greater distances again for diagnosis.

"With one callous stroke of the treasurer's pen, it has been taken away."

Mr Husic spent most of last year collecting 4000 petitions in support for the MRI.

He publicly vented frustration at his federal Labor colleagues after it was announced $20 million be spent on the production of children's film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

"I don't need 20,000 Leagues of Sea," he said.

"I need an MRI at Mount Druitt Hospital."

The federal Department of Health and Ageing told the Star at the time that there were no plans to grant a licence and thhey had been "unaware" of a community campaign.

The MRI was among $500 million worth of health and research cuts by the government. "This government has no shame," Mr Husic said.

"It has absolutely no regard for the health and wellbeing of people living in Western Sydney. I promise I will not let up in the fight to have MRI services restored."

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